Aoki Y, Malcolm E, Yamaguchi S, Thornicroft G, Henderson C.
Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2012 Mar 8. [Epub ahead of print]
BACKGROUND: Mass media depictions of people with mental illness have a strong influence on public attitudes, to the extent that changes in these depictions can reduce public stigmatization of people with such illness. Journalists’ mental health may influence their depiction of those with mental illness, but little is known about this. AIMS: To investigate mental illness among journalists in five key areas: (1) journalists’ mental health status; (2) journalists’ personal attitudes towards mental illness; (3) attitudes and support journalists expect or have experienced from colleagues when they have a mental health problem; (4) effect of journalism’s professional culture on the course of mental illness; and (5) effect of journalism’s professional culture on mass media depictions of people with mental illness. METHODS: We performed a systematic screening of MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library regarding the study aims. RESULTS: We identified 19, 12, seven and four studies for aims 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. No articles were found for aim 5. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among journalists is higher than that among the general population. Journalists have positive personal attitudes towards mental illness, but there are perceived workplace disincentives to disclose mental health problems.